Corona Essays

Credit: CPH Village by Astrid Maria Rasmussen

OBSERVATIONS, VISIONS, AND CONSIDERATIONS ON THE IMPACT OF THE CORONA-CRISIS ON THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT, IN BOTH DANISH AND INTERNATIONAL CONTEXTS.

The format is open and can be both text and illustration, however, please write in either English or Danish. The incoming contributions will be published on our web and Facebook pages.

Streetlife has been suspended, freedom of assembly has been radically restricted, and most institutions and workplaces are closed down, while social and professional relations are confined to digital platforms. To an extreme extent, the home and the nation-state have become guiding frameworks for our everyday lives. National borders are closing while new biological, bodily defined borders have arisen by dictate. Over a short period of time, a new system of distancing has been implemented, and as an underlying effect, these new codes of conduct have brought evidence to the connection between all of us. Paradoxical connectivity of both good and bad.

What impact can we imagine the current pandemic will have – or ought to have – on our approach to the built environment and urban planning in the future? Less density? More surveillance? More risk assessment and preventive regulations? What social, political, and cultural effects can we fear or hope for that this global state of emergency will cause? Increased social equality and solidarity across societal divides? Across national borders? Or more social control? A decrease in consumption? Changed mobility patterns? Are there concrete construction projects and planning strategies that present themselves differently in the wake of our, as of yet only budding, experiences from the pandemic and its expectedly severe impact on economies across the globe? Do the Corona-crisis call for a return of the Welfare state with its top-down planning? Is it possible to imagine that positive experiences and a change of behavioral patterns can be drawn from the Covid-19-crisis to the Climate-crisis?

We are looking forward to a querying, free-thinking, and inspiring debate, that can help us reflect together on this unprecedented situation and its possible consequences.

BETRAGTNINGER, VISIONER OG OVERVEJELSER OMKRING CORONA-KRISENS BETYDNING FOR DET BYGGEDE MILJØ, I BÅDE DANSK OG INTERNATIONAL KONTEKST.

Formatet er åbent og kan være både tekst og illustration, dog beder vi jer om at skrive på engelsk eller dansk. De indkomne bidrag vil publiceres løbende på web og Facebook.

Gadens liv er suspenderet, forsamlingsfriheden er stærkt begrænset, de fleste institutioner og arbejdspladser er lukket ned, og sociale og professionelle forbindelser er henvist til digitale platforme. Hjemmet og nationalstaten er blevet de retningsgivende rammer for vores hverdag i en ekstrem grad. Landegrænser er lukket alt imens nye biologiske, kropsligt definerede grænser er opstået gennem diktat. På kort tid er et system af afstandtagen blevet implementeret, og har som underløbende effekt tydeliggjort sammenhængen mellem os alle. På både godt og ondt.

Hvad kan man forestille sig, at den nærværende pandemi vil få – eller bør få – af betydning for vores tilgang til det byggede miljø og byudvikling fremover? Mindre tæthed? Mere overvågning? Mere risikohåndtering og flere forebyggende foranstaltninger? Hvilke sociale, politiske og kulturelle effekter kan man frygte eller håbe på, at denne globale undtagelsestilstand vil medføre? Øget social lighed og solidaritet på tværs af skel? På tværs af landegrænser? Eller øget social kontrol? Formindsket forbrug og ændrede mobilitetsmønstre? Er der konkrete byggeprojekter og planlægningsstrategier, der tager sig anderledes ud på baggrund af vores endnu kun spirende erfaringer med pandemien og dens forventede voldsomme aftryk på økonomier verden over? Varsler Corona-krisen velfærdsstatens genkomst? Kan man forestille sig, at positive erfaringer og adfærdsformer kan drages fra Covid-19-krisen til klimakrisen?

Vi ser frem til en udforskende, fritænkende og inspirerende debat, der kan hjælpe os til sammen at reflektere over denne omvæltningens tid og dens mulige konsekvenser.

CONTRIBUTIONS

WE NEED TO REORGANIZE THE CITY

By Alfredo Brillembourg, professor of architecture and urban design, founder of Urban-Think Tank

Housing has become the front-line defense against the Covid-19 outbreak. Home has rarely been more of a life or death situation. Read more

THE VERY NATURE OF THE PANDEMIC IS ABOUT HUMAN-ENVIRONMENT RELATIONS

By Antje Bruns, Professor of Geography and Head of Governance and Sustainability Lab from Trier University, DE

Some say the virus leads to new solidarities on the micro-level, yet it also reveals a shocking lack of solidarity between states in Europe and beyond. It shows how ill-prepared we are in our modern societies in which progress is measured as GDP. Read more

THE CORONA CRISIS AND THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT

By Eliza Maria George, architect (India)

Every state has to be self sufficient in terms of all basic resources, in specific  food, energy, waste management and water. At a macro level, this has to be ideally incorporated in the planning stage of every city. Read more

TANKER I EN FORANDRET BY

af Marie-Louise Høstbo, arkitekt MAA

TÆNK, at kunne værdsætte at gå en tur. Nu, hvor det meste af verden er lukket ned, føler jeg mig taknemmelig over, at det er muligt – solen skinner, dagene bliver længere. De tomme gader i byen lader arkitekturen stå tydeligere frem. Læs mere

POP-UP WINDOW

by Collectivo off the record

Will an apartment with good internet access be worth more than one close to the subway station? Will we continue to care about our physical surroundings or will we start to focus on the virtual environment? Will we be hired to design virtual backgrounds? Will we finally become image designers after all? Read more

SPRING DOESN’T PAUSE

by LaVonne Roberts, short story writer, essayist and memoirist (US)

The sounds of ambulance sirens bounce off empty skyscrapers and echo through emptied streets of shuttered businesses. A young woman is standing on a rock, blowing air into her saxophone that elicits a wail just yards from a tented hospital housing patients fighting for oxygen. Read more

A naked city and a creative lockdown

by Walter Soto Barrenechea, architect

For the first time in 30 years, I was able to feel the energy of a city I thought I knew. A naked city perceived for the first time completely different. Read more

Corona Curtains

by INTO STORIES – architecture and beyond

The corona curtains keep the virus from coming in or out, but they do not block views and contacts, so that people do not suffer isolation more than necessary. Read more

re:habilitation – spaces of quarantine.

by Lei Ye + Ivan Zhang + Birdia Zuo: Harvard GSD Spring 2020

The virus opens up issues about domesticity in isolation, how does one deal with the virus? Or how does one deal with the virus if their loved ones are infected? How does one deal with the spaces of quarantine? Read more

Covid-19 and Cities

by Jennifer Barrett, Urban Planner, Canada

I believe cities will look very much the way they do today, with a few underlying and long-lasting changes. Read more

PANDEMIEN VIL SÆTTE SIG DYBE SPOR

Af Projektdirektør Curt Liliegreen fra Boligøkonomisk Videncenter

Vi har vænnet os til videnskabelige og teknologiske fremskridt, der ikke er til at fatte. Vi har kortlagt DNA og skabt kunstig intelligens. Mange har tillid til, at selv klimakrisen kan afbødes af teknologien, når forskerne bare får tid nok. Det stopper imidlertid ikke den katastrofe, som vi gennemlever netop nu. Læs mere

Byen blev pludselig meningsløs

Af: Anne Katrine Harders, ph.d. og civilingeniør (seniorprojektleder, Dansk Arkitektur Center)

‘Byen er pludselig blevet meningsløs. At bo centralt og tæt på sin arbejdsplads er fuldkommen ligegyldigt, når arbejdet alligevel foregår et sted mellem soveværelset og sofabordet.’ Læs mere

Nye sammenhænge

Af Johnny Svendborg, architect and chairman of The Danish Association of Architects

Man kunne antage, at det fremover bliver vigtigere at se og tænke større end det opdelte og det afgrænsede? At se længere end det kortvarige? Måske må vi fremover planlægge og forme vores verden set i større sammenhænge? Læs mere

Potential of borders and shared cultural infrastructure

By Alžběta Brůhová, Architect (Czech Republic)

Borders have interesting abilities; on the one hand, they can divide but on the other hand, they carry great potential for unification as well. I am fascinated by the present spontaneous actions responding to the lack of physical contact among people which are (not surprisingly) happening on the borderline. Read more

Curated Apertures

By Daniel Terry, architect

The post-physical contact world of Covid-19 has restricted us to our homes and has limited our interactions with others to the cameras on our devices. Read more

A Day in the Life of a Balcony

By Surabhi Shakkarwar and Pragya Sharma

Balconies create an environment that allows people to be an interactive part of the street while also incorporating Jane Jacob’s principle of ‘eyes on the street’ for safer neighbourhoods. Read more

Byen uden forbrug

Af Valinka Suenson, sociolog Ph.D; Ida Marie Wedfall, landskabsarkitekt og kunstner

Coronatiden efterlader os med spørgsmålet: hvad er byen uden forbrug? Og hvad kan vi lære af denne oplevelse? Hvad kan vi tage med os fra den stille by? Læs mere

Turn the norm

by Monica Hutton, architect

The Covid-19-crisis is exacerbating preexisting conditions in our built environments – shortcomings in care, inequality of access, exposure, and distribution that are disproportionately lethal. This is not an isolated crisis that we face. Read more

FUTURIBLES – NEW WAYS OF PLANNING IN THE WAKE OF COVID-19

by Helle Juul – Architect MAA/MNAL, Ph.D., Vice President INTA, International Urban Development Association, Founding Partner, Juul | Frost Architects

How do we ensure the link between health and urban planning? It is time to explore new ways to well-being – Health is not only pertinent in the time of pandemics. Read more

Viral Recipe for Living in Isolation

by Katharina Sauermann and Sophie Schaffer

How can the space we live in adapt and support the individual to overcome a crisis? How can design integrate nature to provide sensory orientation? How can seasonal changes help us through a pandemic? How can we hold on to our relationship with the outside when stuck inside? How can we create an even greater collective sense in a world that is physically distanced? Read more

PANDEMICS & ARCHITECTURE

By Teachers and students of the Master Emergency + Resilience, Universitá IUAV di Venezia

This pandemic must be considered at a global dimension, with direct connections to the Climate Crisis and human behaviour. This holistic approach invites us to imagine a new social order, one with a better balance between nature and society, one with renewed ethical principles and moral values. Architecture and Planning should participate in the construction of this new social order. Read more

 København har dyrket »livability« i tyve år – men hvad gør vi, når den tætte by bliver livsfarlig?

Af Holger Dahl, arkitekturanmelder, forfatter, arkitekt MAA

‘Skal fremtidens byplanlæggere indkalkulere smitteminimering i deres løsninger? Og hvordan vil vi i fremtiden se på begrebet livability, når byen og hele vores liv i den pludselig får udstillet sin »dieability« i stedet for?’ Læs mere

The World’s Recovery

by Peter Lynch, Peter Lynch, Architect, Guest Professor KTH Architecture Stockholm (Sweden) 

All of the earth’s surface–land, ice and water–is now seemingly divided into areas for production, extraction, mobilization, disposal, reserve, consumption, recreation, and spectacle. Even in the most distant forest, the standing-reserve that Heidegger warned us about hums louder than a refrigerator. Read more

In Defence of Messiness

By Lotte Kofod Møller, Anthropologist and MSc in Social Science and Spatial Design

It’s worth keeping in mind that attachment to places comes from messiness and that to lose these attachments would affect our wellbeing in our environments. Read more

Det Genovervejede Fællesskab

Af Simone Vestergaard, Arkitekt MAA

Coronakrisen har gjort det klart for os, i hvor høj grad vi alle er afhængige af fællesskaber. Samtidig er fællesskabet under pres. Læs mere

Remote Voices

By Kata Kovács and Tom O’Doherty

What does it mean to be present in a space, in a time where our access to spaces has been radically restricted? Or: how can the idea of being present in a space be re-imagined? Read more

The Impact of Covid-19 on the Urban Poor

By Mahila Housing Trust, India

The urban poor, homeless and their communities are most vulnerable and will be worst hit by the pandemic. Read more

Temporal Pandemic, Perpetual Identity:  A Personal Account of the Inaccessible City

By Wesam Asali, architect and Ph.D.

Our cities were never inclusive, layers of segregating and oppressive practices filters within the everyday function in the city, glossed over by images of accessible public spaces. Read more

The intermediate scale

by m2ft architects (Flavio Martella, Maria Vittoria Tesei) 

Between the scale of the minimum cell of the house and the total cell of the city, Covid-19 highlights the importance and necessity of the community at a medium scale such as access to balconies, accessibility to equipped roofs, to collective services, to digital devices to enter the virtual world…. Read more